In 1985, sampling at 250 stations throughout the St. Marys, St. Clair, and Detroit rivers and Lake St. Clair - the connecting channels of the upper Great Lakes - revealed widespread metal contamination of the sediments. Concetrations of cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc each exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sediment pollution guidelines at one or more stations throughout the study area. Sediments were polluted more frequently by copper, nickel, zinc, and lead than by cadmium, chromium, or mercury. Sediments with the highest concentrations of metals were found (in descending order) in the Detroit River, the St. Marys River, The St. Clair River, and Lake St. Clair. Although metal contamination of sediments was most common and sediment concentrations of metals were generallly highest near industrial areas, substantial contamination of sediments by metals was present in sediment deposition areas up to 60 km from any known source of pollution.
Additional publication details
Heavy metal contamination of sediments in the upper connecting channels of the Great Lakes